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Same round - why is the AR (I think is over rated and easily jammed) so popular. The make of the Mini 14 seems easily maintained and simple to me. I know it is smaller and easier to handle to me? Just curious what you professionals think makes the AR so popular versus our Mini 14. I was just wondering if I missed something.
 

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AR15
Pros...
Accuracy
Modular
Plethora of aftermarket parts
Looks mean
Cons...
Picky eater
Reliability if not well maintained
Magazines are easily rendered useless
Looks mean (feared by those with a gun phobia)​
 

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AR's have the direct gas impingement on the bolt carrier which dumps firing residue into the chamber of course. that's why the cleaning kit includes a broken shell extractor and the brush for cleaning the bolt carrier. Minis give you more leeway with cleaning but you still have to clean/lube the chamber occasionally. I'm not convinced myself that the standard AR barrel has any accuracy edge on the standard Mini that has a tight fitting receiver/stock fit-up.
 

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Some people prefer a standard rifle, but for the most part the AR wins in ergonomics too. The recoil on the AR also goes directly back giving it less muzzle rise. AR barrels beat the crap out of the mini barrels in accuracy and heating up. Sorry Marlin 45, but AR barrels have better accuracy when cold, and really beat the mini 14 after putting a mag through each rifle. The magazine system on the AR makes for easy reloading.

A very large part of the reason ARs are so popular because they are made and sold as high quality high capacity combat style rifles. Minis come out of the box as a "fun gun" and Ruger has time after time **** on customers. By the time you get a mini-14 to perform like a AR and buy magazines, you might as well buy a pistol uppered AR.
 

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The two are very different and when you try to compare them with the same litmus test (100 yard bench shots in ideal conditions) the AR typically wins.

The mini in my opinion, makes a far superior ranch and short range hunting gun.

The ergonomics and features of the AR make it a far superior combat gun.

The entry level AR that can be bought for around $850 will shoot around 2" groups and the "newer" entry level Ranch that can be bought for around $650 will shoot around 2" groups.

Yes, the mini heats up, but for hunting or ranch use, this matters little.

Also consider what your money is buying you....the AR has an inferior gas system, plastic furniture, and parkerized aluminum. The mini can be had in a nice walnut stock and stainless steel with a superior gas system. The accuracy that the rifle range crowd brags about is typically what sells people on the AR
 

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I would call it a draw. Comparing apples to oranges. A ten shot group, 100 yrds? My Mini Target model and my ArmaLite M15A4 shoot about the same.
 

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I would call it a draw. Comparing apples to oranges. A ten shot group, 100 yrds? My Mini Target model and my ArmaLite M15A4 shoot about the same.
Wouldn't the straight-up comparison be to run a STANDARD AR versus a STANDARD Mini, and a TARGET (or HBAR) AR versus the target Mini?
 

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I own an AR15 and a Mini 14. Have owned both for several years. I have fired reloads and factory ammo out of my AR and never had any jams missfires or any other problems. I carried an M16A1 for 6 years in the Army and never ever had any problems. The Mini 14 is alot of fun but is not even in the same class of an AR for alot of reasons. That is a myth.
 

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How right you are.
However, you can not fairly compare a Mini 14 to a AR15.
It's apples and oranges however you look at it.
You can find a basic 16" AR15 for about $750.
A Mini Target will go for about $750,.......very similar results when comparing their performances based upon purchase price. Comparing a standard AR15, to a standard Mini 14? The AR15 would blow the Mini away in nearly all performance aspects. The Mini would have a better reliability rate due to the cleaner chamber. The AR15 would have a greater advantage with accuracy. Ergonomics of these rifles are up to the shooter, many variables to consider.

My personal opinion, ......I call it a draw.
 

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I have both and enjoy shooting both equally. However, there are some good and bad things with each system. When in doubt, get both! :D And for the record, I had my mini first and have no plans to let it go any time soon.

Mini-14 pros:
pull the trigger, it goes bang
“fun” to shoot
Good number of aftermarket accessories
Not overly “assault rifle”-ish (I hate that term for semi-auto rifles)
Not very expensive

Cons:
Less accurate out of the box than the AR (not talking about mini-target)
Good hi capacity mags are expensive
More recoil out of the box
Not as modular as the AR platform

AR pros:
Very good accuracy out of the box, and excellent accuracy with some mods
Good quality hi-cap mags are plentiful and inexpensive
More accessories than you can shake a stick at
Many manufactures means cheaper spare parts
Generally more expensive, but if you try hard and are patient, a basic AR can be built for under $600
Easier to mount optics
Can change upper receiver assembly and almost have a new/different rifle
More options with barrel length and twist rates

Cons:
Some are picky about ammo but usually not an issue if you stick to factory ammo
Need more meticulous cleaning
More expensive to “pimp” out
 

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To me the AR wins on the fact that: a) it has so many aftermarket gootchers and stuff that it blows the mind, and the mini's aftermarket is somewhat small and alot of the parts are kind of sub par in comparison, b) modularity, with the mini you are pretty much stuck with 1 barrel length and caliber, with the AR you have a lot that you can choose from caliber and barrel wise and can switch this out very easily (push 2 pins and bam new upper, c) AR's you can build and modify if you have some mechanical skills and aren't daunted buy it, where as the mini you need a smith to help you on some of the stuff (thank god for Gundoc), and d) Its easier and cleaner to mount optics on a flat top AR than it is a mini IMO. On a side note, I am on about 1700rds through the AR w/o any kind of cleaning on it and it is still running just fine. Only problems I have had with it have been with the first batch of reloads I made where they weren't sized right at the base.

That being said, the mini does have a very nice aesthetic to it and I love the garand style action. Ruger just needs to address a few small things (which after looking at some of the pics from shot, looks like they might be doing).
 

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Different guns designed and built for different purposes. There is some overlap, sure, but neither was designed to be what the other is. The Mini is great for short range varmint and predator control and is even adequate for deer, especially in Mini-30 form. (Short range = 100 -125 yards or so; about the practical limit of 90% of shooters' capability anyway). The AR is a military rifle, with many great attributes, that also excels at the above. Problem is, it looks like a military rifle and the general public, and some landowers, are turned off by them.
 

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Guess I'm living in the past. I choked when I paid $450 for my stainless 14.
$750 for the same gun now? That sure isn't a deal in my book. You can get a CMP Garand in service grade (good to very good) for $600.

I chose a mini14 so I would have one rifle that shot 223. I chose Ruger because I knew it would last and last and last. In my opinion, I don't think an AR will last as long without intensive maintenance. That may be a non-issue, but I don't know the future.

Regardless, people will buy what they like and I admit the AR is a neat looking rifle. So is my mini14.:D
 

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I picked up my 188 series last year for 450 and it didnt show any wear that i could see. Kills anything you want it to and after i get the accustrut installed fully it should do it even better.

All in all with the tapco stock, accustrut and scope i probably have 700 in it.
 

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After reading all these posts, I see a trend: ACCESSORIES, ACCESSORIES, ACCESSORIES!!!!! Otherwise known as the "TactiCOOL" factor.

The AR is more popular mostly because it is COOL and easy to accessorize. Yes, it is an accurate rifle, but most shooters can't shoot as well as the rifle is capable of performing anyway.

The mini is good for what it was designed for, the AR is OK for what it was designed for (not great, but OK). It depends on the preference of the user as to which rifle is better. If you want handy, fun and low maintenance reliability, the Mini is for you. If you want COOL, fun, and maintenance intensive reliability, the AR is for you.

Mostly, remember that it is the man behind the trigger that has the resolve to get the job done that is the most important feature of ANY rifle.
 

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Mostly, remember that it is the man behind the trigger that has the resolve to get the job done that is the most important feature of ANY rifle.
Well said.
I think the GB folder with a 40 round magazine hanging out looks way meaner than a AR.
 
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